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SHILLONG/TURA: The proscribed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) has threatened to launch a ‘street war’ against security forces if the Government continues its anti-insurgency operation by bringing in more forces to Garo Hills.
The statement assumes significance as the State Government is continuously asking the Ministry of Home Affairs to sanction more forces to combat the worsening law and order situation in the region.
The outfit’s political secretary Bikdot Nikjang on Saturday said the security forces in the name of anti-insurgency operations were harassing innocent villagers.
Responding to the State government’s SOS to send additional forces to tackle worsening law and order situation in Garo Hills after violence erupted in Tura, the Centre sanctioned six companies of CRPF and four companies of BSF recently.
The outfit said that they were willing to fight openly in the streets of Tura with the security forces if the Government keeps on deploying more forces for anti-insurgency operations.
Nikjang alleged that the Government was not willing to hold talks with the GNLA “as it does not have any political backup like the ANVC-B.”
It may be mentioned that ahead of the last Assembly elections in the State, the Government had signed a draft peace pact with both factions of the ANVC.
Sohan’s denial: Meanwhile, the rebel outfit’s military chief Sohan D Shira has denied his outfit’s hand in serving a demand note on missionaries involved in providing education in the Garo Hills and has blamed former cadres of being involved in extortion using ‘outdated’ letter pads of the organization to ‘defame’ the outfit.
Reacting to allegations levelled on the GNLA that it had served a demand note on the Claretian missionaries which run a school in Ampati constituency of Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, the GNLA supremo dismissed it as a plan orchestrated by former GNLA training instructor Mingran T Sangma who had abandoned the organization and sided with the state government.
“The GNLA has never asked for any donation from any religious group or missionaries in the past and will never do so in the near future. We do not interfere in the work of missionaries of all denominations in the country,” informed Sohan D Shira to The Shillong Times on Saturday.
He accused his former cadre Mingran T Sangma of being behind the serving of a demand note on the missionaries so as to ‘smear’ the ‘good’ name of the armed organization. “The only person who had in his possession such a demand note which has been published in The Shillong Times is Mingran Sangma who escaped from our training camp with the letter pads last year,” claimed Sohan Shira.
He added that recently five cadres belonging to the 4th batch of GNLA recruits had also defected from the Chokpot command centre of the outfit with another number of letter pads but these were not identical to the one served on the St Clariat missionaries.
“The plan to blame us of targeting the good work being done by missionaries is to turn the public of Garo Hills against our organization,” claimed the GNLA chief.
The GNLA has warned of severe consequences against those who have used the outfit’s name and demanded money from missionaries in the Garo Hills.
“We are on a search for those behind this incident. Once they are in our captivity we shall give them our most severe punishment which is the direct principle of seven bullets for those guilty of such a crime,” warned Sohan D Shira.